Manchester United officials will travel to Rome this weekend to watch AS Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman make his long-awaited return from injury.
Louis van Gaal is a huge fan of the 24-year-old, who became the central figure of the Netherlands' national team's central midfield during the current United manager's spell in charge of the Oranje, and has sent scouts to run the rule over the former PSV star.
This is according to the Daily Star, who understand that Strootman is keen on securing a move to Old Trafford in January. The classy midfielder has even left his agent Chiel Dekker in order to sign up with the man who forced through Robin van Persie's move to Manchester United from Arsenal in 2012, Kees Vos.
Strootman keen to leave Roma
It was reported last week that Strootman has already informed Roma of his desire to re-unite with Van Gaal at Old Trafford, but the player's current employers are likely to demand a huge fee.
Roma boss Rudi Garcia told reporters that United would need to shell out at least €100 million (£78 million) to sign the Dutchman, whose market value is closer to the £30 million-mark.
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But Strootman's desire to leave the Stadio Olimpico may encourage Roma to consider any formal offer that Manchester United submit in the New Year.
Van Gaal will only sign key target
The Guardian revealed on Wednesday that Van Gaal is, at this moment in time, not planning to add to his squad in January. The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach is focusing on strengthening next summer instead, but would consider making a signing if a key target - like Strootman - becomes available.
Strootman has been sidelined for the last eight months after suffering a serious knee injury against Napoli and is set to play in a specially-arranged B team match on Sunday as he completes his recovery.
Van Gaal spent £103 million on the signings of Angel di Maria, Ander Herrera and Daley Blind - Manchester United's first-choice central midfield trio - in the summer.
But Di Maria could be shifted out to the wing in order to accommodate Strootman. However, the Argentina international's most impressive performances have been from the left-hand side of central midfield, and moving him to the flank may reduce United's record-signing's effectiveness.
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